More ques­tions on X6 mur­der trial

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

THE ED­I­TOR, Sir: THE #X6Mur­derTrial is a glar­ing ex­am­ple of a le­gal sys­tem, though built on the no­tion of jus­tice, car­ry­ing out its or­di­nary func­tions of com­ply­ing with and ad­min­is­trat­ing the law. Legally, the sys­tem worked fine. Yes, there were de­lays in the trial, but in our le­gal sys­tem de­lays are not un­com­mon. De­lays re­sult from a lack of court­rooms, a back­log of cases, in­ad­e­quate re­sources for po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions, among other things.

There is noth­ing we can do within our le­gal sys­tem about that. The de­fence lawyer raised the is­sue of Kha­jeel Mais’ be­hav­iour in school. If there is ev­i­dence that Kha­jeel was bel­liger­ent at all there could be grounds for self-de­fence or provo­ca­tion. These are per­fectly ap­pro­pri­ate le­gal de­fences. In short, our laws only hope to do jus­tice but that is more their ideal than their im­me­di­ate ef­fect.

Jus­tice re­quires that when a young boy is fa­tally shot, there is a proper in­ves­ti­ga­tion. It re­quires that the weapon sus­pected to have been used be taken into cus­tody and tested. It re­quires that the sus­pect be ar­rested and brought be­fore a court on the is­sue of bail.

Jus­tice re­quires that there is a speedy trial to re­duce the pos­si­bil­ity of wit­ness state­ments be­ing the op­po­site of a wit­ness’ tes­ti­mony, and that wit­nesses are pro­tected from ex­ter­nal in­flu­ences.

Jus­tice pre­vents the so­cial class of the ac­cused or the vic­tim from be­ing the de­ter­min­ing fac­tor in the out­come of a trial. A le­gal sys­tem needs sup­port, re­sources, po­lice who are not cor­rupt and lawyers who are ac­ces­si­ble to the poor for it to be­come a jus­tice sys­tem.

Un­til we have all of these things, jus­tice will only be bought by those who can af­ford it. GLEN­ROY MUR­RAY, LLB (Hons) Pol­icy & Ad­vo­cacy Man­ager, Equal­ity for All Foun­da­tion glen­roy.am.mur­ray@gmail. com

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